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Step by Step: Tips for routine mower maintenance

January 8, 2018 -  By

It’s important for contractors to perform regular maintenance on mowers to ensure their machines perform at peak levels for as long as possible. Routine mower maintenance is also a good way to identify minor issues that can be repaired quickly and inexpensively before they become major problems. There are a number of regular maintenance items that should be performed on mowers before and during each season and prior to storing the machine for the winter.

If a mower is damaged from hitting an object or has complicated engine trouble, it’s best to take it to a local certified service dealer for repairs. If there are any safety features missing or broken, have them fixed by an authorized service center as soon as possible.

Before beginning maintenance, contractors should make sure they have all of the tools necessary to complete the project. A notepad and pen are helpful for keeping track of any parts that need to be replaced, and contractors always should observe the safety rules in the owner’s manual as they work.

To begin, roll the machine on a flat, level surface and disconnect and ground the spark plug wires. Remove the old spark plug and install a new one. Once maintenance is complete, reconnect the plug wires. Oil changes, discussed in step one, should be performed after every 50 hours of use and prior to storage.

Follow these steps to perform routine mower maintenance.

Step 1

Drain the engine oil, remove the oil filter and clean any excess oil from the filter housing. Apply a thin coat of oil to the new oil filter gasket and replace the oil filter. Clean any excess oil from around the oil drain plug housing and reinstall the oil drain plug. Refill oil as specified in the owner’s manual and replace the oil dipstick. Allow the oil to settle for several minutes, then recheck the level and top off the oil if necessary.

Step 2

Remove the paper element air filter and foam prefilter (if equipped). Clean the foam prefilter with liquid detergent and water and allow to dry thoroughly. Replace the paper element filter and reinstall the prefilter.

Step 3

Wearing gloves for protection, inspect the rest of the machine, including mower deck blades, deck and drive belts, the discharge chute, tires and any attachments that are installed. Clean, lubricate and/or replace each part as necessary.

Step 4

Fill the fuel tank with fresh fuel, which has been mixed with fuel stabilizer. This will prevent hard starts due to fuel degradation.

To download a PDF copy of this Step by Step article from the magazine, click here

Source: MTD Genuine Parts
illustrations: David Preiss

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